Zitkála-Šá (Red Bird) was born on the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1876. When she was eight years old, she was taken by Quaker missionaries to Wabash, Indiana, to attend White's Indiana Manual Labor Institute, where she was given the missionary name Gertrude Simmons. After being forced to pray as a Quaker and cut her hair, she became deeply critical of her experience. She began to write about the profound sense of loss she felt under coloinzation and how such boarding schools stripped indigenous children of their ancestral culture. Later in life, Zitkála-Šá became a leading activist in the fight for Native American rights, leading the reform of education policies, rights of citizenship and the pprotection of land rights. In 1926, she founded the National Council of American Indians, serving as its president until her death in Washington D.C., on January 26, 1938.